MacArthur Cave, Kilmore and Kilbride, Argyll and Bute

NGR: NM 8592 3043


Canmore: 23066

SCD: 2545

Excavation: J. Munro & J.W. Higgin, 1895.

Curation: National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland, Edinburgh (HL1-389).

Burials: MNI: 4+ (adults).

Finds: Mesolithic bone and flint artefacts, stone hammers, limpet scoops, animal bones.

Date: Neolithic (1) and Iron Age (1).

14C: 2460 to 2170 bp (OxA-4485 to 4488) on human bone and 5052 bp (SUERC-68701) on human bone.


Anderson, J. (1895) Notice of a cave recently discovered at Oban, containing human remains and a refuse heap of shells and bones of animals, and stone and bone implements. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 29: 211-230.

Bonsall, C. & Sutherland, D.G. (1992) The Oban Caves. In Walker, M.J. et al. (eds) The Southwest Scottish Highlands: Field Guide. Quaternary Research Association, Cambridge, pp. 115-121.

Hallen, Y. (1994) Re-evaluation of the Human Skeletal Remains from MacKay Cave, Distillery Cave, and MacArthur Cave, Oban. Unpublished archive report, National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh.

Hedges, R.E.M. et al. (1995) Radiocarbon dates from the Oxford AMS system: Archaeometry Datelist 19. Archaeometry 37: 195-214.

Lacaille, A.D. (1954) The Stone Age in Scotland. London.

Newell, R.R. et al. (1979) The skeletal remains of Mesolithic man in Western Europe: an evaluative catalogue. Journal of Human Evolution 8: 1-228.

Olalde, I. et al. (2017). The Beaker phenomenon and the genomic transformation of northwest Europe. Available at bioRxiv preprint server

Oldham, A.D. (1975) The Caves of Scotland. Privately printed.

Saville, A. & Hallen, Y. (1994) The 'Obanian Iron Age': human remains from the Oban cave sites, Argyll, Scotland. Antiquity 68: 715-723.

Sheridan, A. et al. (2019) A summary round-up list of Scottish archaeological human remains that have been sampled/analysed for DNAas of January 2019. Discovery and Excavation in Scotland 19: 227-250.

Tolan-Smith, C. (2001) The Caves of Mid Argyll: an Archaeology of Human Use. SAS Monograph Series 20. Edinburgh.

Turner, W. (1895) On human and animal remains found in caves at Oban, Argyllshire. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 29: 410-438.

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